In reply to the Hon. J.A. DARLEY (3 July 2019).
The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (14:36): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Human Services, representing the Minister for Environment and Water, a question about the government's retaining shacks commitment.
The Hon. J.A. DARLEY: It has been nearly 18 months since the government committed to delivering their retaining shacks policy. This policy seeks to extend arrangements for shack owners whose shacks are situated on Crown land or national parks. Prior to the government's election in 2018, the policy was that leases for these Crown land sites would expire at the death of the last listed lessee. The government made an election commitment to move away from this and allow for mechanisms where the leases could be transferred, extended or freeholded.
In the past 10 months, I have been in contact with the minister and the department about the progress of this new policy. In particular, I have asked about a time frame in which it would be expected that this would be finalised. I understand that a few weeks ago the department released a preliminary discussion paper for public consultation. However, the information required to move forward with this project seems to be severely lacking. My questions to the minister are:
1. When does the minister expect this project will be finalised?
2. Does the government have a time line of implementation that outlines which individual issues need to be addressed for each shack area and when they will be addressed? If such information exists, will the minister provide a copy?
3. If the detailed time line for implementation of the policy does not exist, why not?
4. How does the government plan to track progress and ensure that implementation is carried out well before the next election in 2022?
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services) (14:38): I thank the honourable member for his question. I thank him for his ongoing commitment to shacks in South Australia. He has been a champion in this space in the fight against the dastardly intentions of the former Labor government, who variously took opinions about shacks as being squatters and a range of very derogatory opinions that they held about people who held shacks, including a number of working people who have found them a quite cost-effective way of enjoying their summer holidays and school holidays in fairly cheap manners, and a number of farming communities, in particular, that have been associated with various locations, which I was able to outline in a speech that I gave in support of the Crown lease bill that I moved in this parliament, with the support of the honourable member, several years ago. I am aware that there is a discussion paper that the Minister for the Environment has released. The detailed questions that he has put to this place I will take on notice and bring back a response for him.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (Minister for Human Services): The Department for Environment and Water has advised:
1. I am advised that Department for Environment and Water (DEW) released a preliminary discussion paper in relation to the retaining shacks election commitment, which was available for public consultation until 15 July 2019. I am advised that we have received feedback from over 260 individual sources, including from shack lessees, local councils, traditional owners and other government agencies.
Once all feedback to the preliminary discussion paper is received, I am advised that DEW will finalise the retaining shacks policy to deliver this important commitment, including the assessment framework, funding considerations and clear time line for delivery of specific elements.
Another factor which influences the ability of DEW to commence assessment of individual shack settlements is the introduction to parliament of legislation to amend the Crown Land Management Act 2009. The proposed amendments were also the subject of public consultation and this consultation remains ongoing with local councils, who will play an active role in seeing the policy implemented.
I am advised that the retaining shacks project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
2. The government is currently progressing a program for the shack settlement areas. Once this information is compiled a copy can be made available.
3. Refer to question 2.
4. The government is regularly tracking the progress of this important commitment.